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Archive for the ‘Free Hand Designs’ Category

I have two quilts to show to you today. A Log Cabin Quilt and a Sampler Quilt and both of them are gorgeous!

Log Cabin Quilt

This Log Cabin Quilt, 82 x 101 inches,  was pieced by Chris W and she does an amazing job with her piecing! The colors are very calming and look great together.

Here is a full-ish view of the quilt

I quilted my curved feathers in the light fabrics and wavy lines in the darker fabric. I LOVE the texture that these quilting designs make when used togehter.  Make sure you click on the photo for a larger, more detailed view.

Here is a closer view of the quilting in the body of the quilt. I have quilted several Log Cabin quilts this way and I have details of the quilting in a blog post from a few years ago which you can read by Clicking Here

The batting is Soft & Bright poly batting from The Warm Company and the thread is a combination of Signature 100% cotton thread and Madeira high sheen poly thread.

In the border, which was wide (I love wide borders) I quilted my Feathered Baptist Fan pattern. The “half” feathered wreath is the middle of the border and the other feathered wreaths “meet” at the middle wreath. (I quilted the Feathered Baptist Fan border using the Longarm University Feather Guides. For info about them Click Here) Sounding like a broken record, I LOVE the texture in this border design! The first inner border has a “football feather” design.

Sampler Quilt

This quilt was pieced by Trish S and she did a wonderful piecing job and I love how all the different fabrics work togehter! This is a GREAT quilt.

When quilting a Sampler Quilt, I like to quilt something different in each block, depending on how the block is pieced. In this quilt I used a LOT of different thread colors and matched the thread color to the fabric color.

This Sampler Quilt is huge at 91 x 108 inches. There is a LOT of quilting in this quilt, but it was worth it!

Here is an almost full view of the quilt. I have it hanging outside on my clothesline – Click on any photo for a larger view

Here is some more of the quilt

I quilted a partial “football feather” in the outer border, continuous curves and spikes in the 9 patch and another football feather in the inner border.

Here is the corner of the outer border

The batting is Warm & Natural cotton batting. Here are some of the individual blocks and I hope you can see the quilting in them.

Please click on the photos to see the detail in the quilting.

Both of these quilts were FUN to work on. When I have great quilts to work with, the quilting is (almost) easy!

 

 

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Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I will be at an all day meeting and I decided (yesterday) that I was going to make something for everyone at the meeting. Fortunately it isn’t a big meeting! I wanted something quick, relatively easy, of course quilted and usable. So I decided that I was going to make Mug Rugs or Coasters!

b-val-01aI took photos of the process to show you how I did it and I hope that you can use these instructions to make some Mug Rugs for yourself or for others. They make GREAT gifts and in an afternoon you can make a bunch of them and save them for future events and gifts.

The photo at the left shows both the circle and square Mug Rugs that I made.

Note: This is a photo intense post. The photos are shown in a small format. Please click on any photo for a larger view.

I started out with a half yard of backing fabric and a half yard of washed, white muslin and put them on the quilting machine with a thin-ish batting. The batting was a left over piece of (I think) Quilters Dream Poly.  I put the selvage edges of the fabrics to the leaders.


Square Mug Rugs

I b-val-01drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 4-1/2 inch squares along the top of my fabric. I used a Crayola Washable Marker  (CWM -my favorite marking tool) but later on realized I could have used a permanent marker. These markings are the cutting lines and will be cut apart or under the binding when the Mug Rug is finished. Note: My first square is only 4 inches wide. That’s all right, it will work out.


b-val-02Now take a marker (CWM) and draw lines 1/2 inch from the first drawn lines. These lines indicate where I want the edges of my feathers to be. If I take my feathers out to the “edges” of the square, they will be covered by the binding – which I don’t want.  After these lines are drawn, stitch a wavy line close to the first drawn lines. These wavy  lines of stitching will hold the layers togehter when the Mug Rugs are cut apart and you put the binding on. Notice that I stitched one line across the top of the blocks. Then I stitched another line starting at the top left, going down the left side, across the bottom , up along the drawn cutting line and then down again. This line of stitching starts at the left edge and goes all the way to the right edge!


b-val-03Divide these spaces in half both horizontally and vertically and mark the lines. If desired, use another color of marker. On the intersections of these lines, draw the heart shape as shown.

To make the heart shape, Click on the highlighted text for a pdf file of the mug-rug-shapes need for this project. Print out this page, trace the shapes onto piecing template plastic and cut out. Position the shape where indicate and draw around.


b-val-04Now you are ready for quilting the feathered heart!

Start at the bottom point of the heart and stitch along one side of the drawn heart shape and make a swirl at the top of the heart.  Come back to the bottom of the heart along the previous line of stitching. Don’t worry if you are not exactly on the first line of stitching. This is called a double spine line and, I feel, this is gives more “character” to your quilting. Do the same thing for the other half of the heart. See photo at the left.

 


b-val-05At the top of the heart and along the center line, stitch a loop up to the drawn line. From here, begin making feathers along one side of the heart down towards the bottom point of the heart. Keep the tops of your feathers even with the drawn lines of the square. Follow along the fist line of stitching and get back to the top of the heart.  See the photo at the left.  Your feathers don’t have to be “perfect.” Just do the best you can!

 

 


b-val-07Now begin making feathers on the other side of the heart until the outer area is filled with feathers! When you are at the bottom of the heart, make another “double swirl” heart in the bottom of the inside of the heart shape.

See the photo at the left of the completed feathered heart!

I want my quilting to show and I used a red variegated  cotton thread for the quilting.


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For those who are a little bold and daring, draw the center lines in the block on the diagonal and position the heart shape on the diagonal. Then quilt the feathered heart on the diagonal! This is the same design but it looks different!


Circle Mug Rugs

val-13Refer to the pdf file (above) and cut out the 4-1/2 and 3-1/2 diameter circles from piecing template plastic. Note: If you have circle templates you may be able to find the sizes needed.

 

 

Draw the 4-1/2 diameter circles, then center the 3-1/2 circles inside. Draw the center lines, position the heart shape and draw around it.

b-val-15aSquiggle stitch close to the outer line. This will keep the layers together when you finish the edges.

Quilt the feathered heart in the same way you quilted the square one, keeping the tops of the feathers even with the 3-1/2 inch diameter drawn line.

 


Make as many of the square and /or circle Mug Rugs on your fabric as you want. Because I used the Crayola Washable Markers, I had to wash my finished “quilt” in warm water with detergent – to remove the marker –  before cutting the Mug Rugs apart and finishing them.

b-val-01aI finished the edges of the circle Mug Rugs with a Satin Stitch and then trimmed the excess fabric close to the Satin Stitching. If you have some, you might want to put some water soluble or tear away embroidery stabilizer under the circle Mug Rug before Satin Stitching. This sometimes helps keep the curved (bias) edges from stretching. I also ran a line of Fray Check along the edge of the Satin Stitching. This will keep the fabrics from fraying and will keep the Satin Stitching from coming apart.

On one circle Mug Rug I experimented with putting a turned “facing” on the back. If you want to do this, that is fine. I felt it was a little too “fiddly” for me.

I put “regular” quilt binding on the square Mug Rugs and stitched everything in place with my home sewing machine.


val-23  b-val-24When I got finished quilting my square and circle Mug Rugs, I realized that I had a bunch of un-quilted fabric, especially around the circle shapes. So I did some quilting in this area with a Ribbon Stipple.

In the un-quilted area at the bottom of my fabrics, I did  Spiral Squares. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with this new quilted fabric, but I’m sure I will think of something! More Mug Rugs maybe???

I hope you have fun making some of these Mug Rugs for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday or special occasion.

If you make any Mug Rugs, please send some photos and I’ll post them here.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

 

 

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My sister is going to be a Grandma!!! I am SO excited for her! The baby, a boy, is due in a few months and the whole family is excited.

My sister is also a quilter and in her travels, before there was even a hint of a baby, she found these absolutely darling panel prints. She purchased them and saved them for when she would be a Grandma, or if that didn’t happen, she would donate them to a kids charity. I don’t know where she purchased the panel prints, but these were some of the nicest panel prints I have seen or worked on!

The first panel print is titled “In the Beginning” for obvious reasons. Here is the full view of the finished quilt.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Here is a close up of the top of the quilt.

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And a close up of the bottom of the quilt.

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This is quilted with Signature, 100% cotton thread and many thread color changes were done to match the thread to the fabric.

Now for the fun quilting!!! My nephew, the baby’s father, is a heavy equipment operator. When my sister saw this panel print, she could not help herself! Here is the full view of the panel. It isn’t very large, only about 42 x 34 inches.

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On a panel like this, I like to quilt “texture” into what is already printed on the fabric.

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Here is a close up of some of the trucks.

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And another close up of another truck. Please click on the photo for a larger view and you can see the stitching on the trucks.

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Again, I changed my threads many times and I also used Soft & Bright batting.

I have one more panel to show you – Another heavy equipment themed panel. (My sister finds the GREATEST fabrics!) Here is the full view of the “Gravel Pit” and I went crazy with the texture! Yes, I did quilt pebbles in the gray “asphalt” on the panel! This quilt is also 42 x 34 inches.

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Because I knew that I was going to be changing my thread a LOT, I decided to baste the quilt first. I like using a bright (usually neon) color, high sheen poly thread for the basting with a large stitch. After the basting, I put a color of thread in the machine ( I started with a variegated gray) and quilted the “asphalt”  and anything else using that thread color, moving the quilt back and forth as needed to get to the area to be quilted. Then I changed to another color of thread and quilted ALL the areas that need quilting with that color. Before I quilted any area, I removed the basting from that section.

This photo shows the basting on the un-quilted quilt top. The quilt is on my machine with the bright overhead lights.

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In this photo, this area has been quilted and it is hanging outside on a cloudy day. Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Another photo of a basted area.

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And here is that area quilted.

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One more basted area –

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And the same area quilted.

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One more photo of another section of the Gravel Pit.

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I have sent my sister photos of these quilts but I can’t wait for her to see them in person! These quilts are getting mailed back to the Midwest in the morning!

I can’t wait to hear about the reaction of both my nephew and his wife when they see these quilts. And of course, after the baby is born, I’ll get photos of the baby laying on the quilts!

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Last month, my second oldest Grand Daughter, Mackenzie, graduated from high school! Woo hoo!!! She lives in North Carolina and unfortunately, I live near Seattle and no, I was not able to attend her graduation in person. Boo hoo!!

But… technology to the rescue! Her graduation ceremony was streamed LIVE and I was able to watch the whole thing in real time, sitting in front of my computer. To make things even better, my sister and my Mom and Dad, who all live in Illinois, were watching the same thing on their computer. We were doing group texts and conference calls during the ceremony and after. Even though we were all (literally) thousands of miles  apart, it was like we were all in the same room!

I even took a photo of my computer screen (on my cell phone) of Mackenzie getting her diploma.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Ain’t technology great!

And of course, Grandma Cindy made a quilt for Mackenzie for her graduation. She will be going to the University of Nebraska next month and she will be studying music.

I found some perfect fabric in the Keepsake Quilting Catalog, ordered it and began making her quilt. Since she is studying music I found a “music fabric” collection and also a collection of red batiks for the University of Nebraska.

To see the Fabric Collections at Keepsake Quilting Click Here

The piecing pattern I made was a Free Pattern that I found online called Garden Path. To view the instructions Click Here

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Mackenzie’s Garden Path quilt is completely done. It’s all quilted and I just finished putting the binding on it. If you click on the photo you should be able to see the fabrics with the music theme.

I quilted it with silver high sheen polyester thread using a free hand Swirls & Hooks pattern.

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Here is a close up of the piecing and quilting.

I used a black print fabric for the back. It is a very dark black, but in the photo it looks more gray.

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You can see the quilting better from the back of the quilt.

I wish Mackenzie lots of luck and fun times at college. Enjoy your quilt Mack-a-doodle! Grandma Cindy loves you!!!

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I have a dear friend who recently had shoulder surgery. I wanted to do something special for her and my first thought was to make a quilt for her. But, she is a professional quilter and another quilt is probably the last thing she would want. So I began thinking and I came up a knitted shawl!

With her shoulder surgery, she couldn’t get her arm into a jacket easily, so I thought having a shawl to throw over her shoulders would work well for her.

I found a simple shawlette pattern at my local yarn shop and began working on it. The pattern is from the book “Free Spirit Shawls, by Lisa Shroyer. For details on this book Click Here (The pattern I used is on Page 55.) I did change the lace pattern on the bottom of the shawl, but everything else was by the pattern.

My daughter, Katie, reluctant agreed to be a model, but I had to promise not to show her face. And being a good mother, I didn’t!

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Here is a back view. The main yarn was a hand painted sock type yarn, knitted up “speckled” and it has bits of turquoise and aqua.

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The shawlette is not very wide, but it is LONG!  I blocked the shawlette on a 6 x 4 foot piece of Styrofoam insulation and it went from edge to edge.

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And here is a view from the front.

I have already sent this to my friend and she LOVES it. I hope it keeps her shoulders warm and cozy for a long, long time!

I just finished another quilt which is WAY, WAY TOO CUTE! It was made for a girl, Bryanna, who is having a 16th birthday  real soon.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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The quilt was made by Bryanna’s Aunt and she did a great job with the piecing. There was a lot of “open” spaces and I had WAY too much fun quilting it!

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Here is a close up of the top half of the quilt. Notice the name quilted below the point of the heart! Also the hearts in the borders.

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And here is the bottom of the quilt. It is a bright sunny day outside and the bright sunshine is doing strange things with the colors – especially the white background fabric.

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There were a few extra blocks left over, so they were pieced into the backing fabric. I couldn’t control where the quilting would be on them, but it did turn out very well.

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One more view of the back of the quilt, near the top. I love the texture that is showing from the quilting in the pinwheel star block.

It is a bright sunny warm spring day and now I am going outside to work in the garden!

 

 

 

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I finished these quilts this week and they are WAY too cute!!

This quilt is a Batik Irish Chain for a baby that I quilted with feathered heart wreaths and continuous curves. The quilt is 41 x 53 inches.

Click on any photo for a larger view

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I love the colors of this quilt! And here is the back of the quilt.

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I used Soft & Bright batting, Lavender and Sand Dollar Signature, 100% cotton thread.

When I make feathered heart wreaths, there is a “process” that I use. Here are some photos to show the basics of how I quilt them. Here is the un-quilted space.

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Then I mark the spine and the inner and outer boundaries of my feathers. On this quilt I used the Mark-B-Gone, water soluble marker. You can barely see the marker, enlarge the photo to see it better. I mark just enough that I can see the lines.( If you want more information on what I use to make the heart shapes Click Here)

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Now I quilt the feathered wreath free hand, including the spine line!

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And lastly, I removed the marker with a spritz of water. Here is the finished feathered heart wreath.

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I quilted the heart wreath with the Lavender thread and the background (behind the heart) I used the Sand Dollar thread to match the fabric. I LOVE the effect! If you look closely in the expanded photo, you can see the continuous curve quilting I did in the squares.

One More Quilt! This quilt has hand embroidered squares and (again) is WAY too cute!! This quilt is 34 x 45 inches.

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Here is a close up of some of the blocks. The embroidery was VERY well done!

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I used Signature Lavender thread in the printed fabric and quilted feathers in the borders and sashings and added “detail” quilting in each block. I also used Warm & White batting.

Like I said, WAY too cute!!! And here is the back of the quilt. You can really see the quilting!

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Here is a close up of the back of the quilt.

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Needless to say, I had a lot of fun working on these quilts!

 

 

 

 

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I finished this quilt a few days ago and had to wait for the rain to let up before I could get some photos.

This quilt is beautiful!!! It was a Block of the Month by Sylvia Pippen called Hawiian Orchids. The background fabric is solid black, but it photographed a lot lighter than it actually is.

Click on any photo for a larger view. The photos really don’t do the quilt justice!

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Here is a closer view to show the piecing and quilting. Because the piecing and embroidery was so striking, I kept the background quilting simple with horizontal and vertical lines quilted in black, high sheen poly thread. The lines are done free hand.

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The photo below shows the border detail – Sashiko Ying Yang design, and also some of the Sashiko I did in the printed panels.

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Here is the back of the quilt. Again, the backing fabric is a dark, dark black, but it photographed as gray! Now you can REALLY see the quilting and the Sashiko!

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As I was working on this quilt, I kept feeling a “dragging” on my quilting machine and I couldn’t figure out what it was. It took a while but I found out that the when I put the green thread on the machine to do the Sashiko quilting, the black thread got wound around my front wheels. It was so thick that the wound up thread was affecting my quilting!

I had to take the machine head off of the carriage and flip the carriage over to get to the wheels. This is what I saw –

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Then I began to cut at the thread, pull at it and get it out of there! Then I had one more wheel to clean out. Finally, I got the thread cleaned out of the wheels.

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Here is a cleaned out wheel with a pile of shredded thread underneath it! Yeck!!

But now that the machine is back together, it is running MUCH better and NO dragging! Now, on to the next quilt!!

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